Monday, 1 September 2014

There's Something About September

I love September, it's probably my favorite month. It stems from my childhood when we used to go back to school. I used to love the anticipation of going into a new class, a new school year, getting to use all of my new pens and pencils, my perfectly neat and clean school books in my bag in order of size ready to be used. I was a neat freak about those things. It's still a story that gets told by my friends how particular I was about my pencil case and it's contents in primary school. (all of the pencils pens, ruler and rubber had to be lined up perfectly!) I used the same school bag for my last 4 years of school, you know one of those Jansport bags that were all the rage once. It had badges from Kerrang! stuck on the front and a Winnie The Pooh key ring on the zip. I had saved up my babaysitting money in 1st year to buy one myself because the Mother said they were too expensive. I proudly went into Mahers Sports in Cork city and got it just before starting 2nd year in the September. I remember excitedly getting my school uniform out and ready the week before we would go back to school, all my copies would have my name on them ready to be filled in once the school year kicked off. I would painfully mark my school journal with all of the important dates in it like birthdays, the Christmas GAA disco, the school holidays, I might even add in some school notes. Of course it was also compulsory to get everyone to sign your journal too, the more covered in people's signatures it was the better.
September signals the end of the Summer, a time for the routine to come back and the adventures of the Summer to wind down. I crave routine and loved the security of it during the school year. It was a time to knuckle back down to some hard graft with homework and all that. I love how throughout the month of September the warm weather begins to fade and by the end of the month Autumn has slipped in and it's time to start putting that jumper back on. The carefree ways of the Summer months with the sun are no longer.
In my job, working in student accommodation I still have the same kind of experience. We see the busy Summer period ending and we start to slow down. We no longer have to work weekends or longer days and once we have all of our student heads on beds we can breathe a sigh of relief that another Summer season is over and a new academic year is beginning. There's new faces to see and we are 9 to 5er's once again.
September tells me that Winter is on it's way and this is my favorite season. It tells me that there's lots of cosy night's by the fire coming, that we will have stew for dinner again to keep us warm on those cold days, that I can start to bring the scarves out maybe even buy a few more from Penneys to add to my collection, get the coats out of the cupboard and stock up on the teabags, nothing like a nice warm cuppa on a cold day.
As much as I love the Summer months with all the lovely weather, different events and activities, bbq's, late evenings with lots more daylight, bedtimes that are later than usual, leaving the back door open all evening and hearing the kids playing outside until 10pm, I also love the calmness that comes in September when everyone is back at school, the holidays are over and and there's a stillness in the evenings as the days get shorter.
For me this year September also means that I go back to a 4 day working week which gives me an extra day at home with Luke, an extra 24 hours to watch him grow, to cuddle with him on the couch, to go on adventures together, to find some puddles to splash in, some leaves to crunch on and this is what I'm really looking forward to.
There is just something about September that makes me breathe a sigh of contentment.



Sunday, 31 August 2014

Me & Mine August

We just about managed a picture this month! I actually thought I had a few more than the couple I have but alas they will have to do. August has been an absolutely crazy month.
We had 2 family weddings, Luke had his first night in a hotel and only loved wearing a matching shirt and tie like Daddy. I've spent a lot of time at work so has the OH. Any time spent with my camera has been behind it and I have taken a record amount of pictures this month.
Luke has been so busy being a a toddler, he's not a baby anymore! He's grown and changed so much this month. He now has 12 teeth and has has a bit of a hard time with the back teeth coming through but nothing compared to those first 4, these seem like a breeze compared the them. He also got his first haircut this month, I will admit it was a bit emotional. He's got lovely little curls at the back but they had to be trimmed because they were beginning to get knotty. I have his first curl safely tucked away for his memory box.
Oh and August also sees the return of X Factor and I love this!
I honestly don't know where this month has gone but here's our family portrait:



This month Luke loves:

  • Running, he runs everywhere these days
  • Banging things, the wooden spoon, his hammer anything he can find
  • Chasing Nanny's cat
This month Dad loves:
  • The biggest bar of chocolate ever he got as a birthday present
  • Turning 28
  • Football matches
This month Mum loves:
  • The X Factor starting again
  • Buying Ugg boots in preparation for the in coming Winter
  • Getting a lead for the dog that I can actually control him on and walk him

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Christmas?? It's Too God Damn Early

So there I was yesterday, happily driving to work listening to the radio, Red FM in fact and all of a sudden I hear the word Christmas, yes that's right bloody Christmas! My first Christmas advert of 2014.
Now don't get me wrong I am a huge Christmas fan, my favourite time of the year even more so now that Luke is here. I'm excited for him, for us as a family to celebrate this holiday, to keep old traditions alive and to create some new ones. I look forward to the Christmas artwork that Luke will bring home during his school days and him being able to write his first Santa letter himself. I simply cannot wait but as much as I look forward to the festive season I draw the line at Christmas adverts in August....August for crying out loud!
I feel like every year the promotions, adverts, Christmas food/sweets is all beginning to happen that little bit earlier. Where's the fun in that eh?!

I know how about let's get Halloween out of the way, lets enjoy that, the dressing up and the trick treaters and the demolishing of sweets into the late hours on halloween night. Let November begin and the Winter set in and then start with the Christmas build up. Let's not have so much hype for so long before the actual festivity that come December we are either deflated or bored of Christmas before we've even had a chance to celebrate it!


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Herb and Cheese Scones

I've been experiencing high blood pressure since Luke was born last year, well it actually started at 38 weeks pregnant and it hasn't returned to normal yet, in fact it's quite high. I'll have to wear a 24 hour blood pressure monitor next week to get a better handle on it. However in the meantime I'm trying to make some changes to help it as well like less stress (easier said than done!), more physical activity (thanks to our new family member, Murphy the dog this is going well) and changing my diet. I've switched to low fat / skimmed products and really have to watch my salt in take, I have a ridiculous craving for salt, its scary. This seems to be my doctors main cause for concern. It just so happens that my mum has a cook book for everything including recipes that are high blood pressure friendly. So I've been experimenting and wanted to share the recipes here in case there is anyone else who may find them helpful :)

Ingredients:

9oz Self Raising Flour
1/4 tsp Bread Soda
1 1/2 oz Butter
1 tblsp Snipped Fresh Chives (Or dried chives if you don't have fresh)
1/4 tsp Rosemary (or whatever herbs you prefer)
2oz Cheese, cheddar, mozzarella whichever you fancy but reduced fat
175ml Buttermilk
1 Egg White, lightly beaten

Method:


  • Pre heat oven the 230 degrees celsius and line a baking tray with parchment paper or lightly coat with cooking spray
  • Mix together the flour, herbs and bread soda in a large bowl
  • Rub the butter in until mixture looks like coarse bread crumbs
  • Stir in half of the cheese (I did a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella)
  • Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the buttermilk
  • Mix with a fork until a soft sticky dough forms. I found I had to add a bit more buttermilk here 
  • Drop heaping teaspoons of the dough on to the baking tray, or grab a small handful and put it on the tray like I did. You get about 15 scones out of this. I did them a bit small so made the next batch bigger and got 7 scones out of the mixture.
  • Brush them with egg white and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake for approx 12 minutes or until golden 

These are lovely just out of the oven with some unsalted butter or served cooled down with a slice of ham.



Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Squishable Penguin - A Review

We recently received quite a large box in the post that contained the newest member of our cuddly toy collection, only this one is one with a difference!
This penguin is most definitely the most cuddly toy we now own and certainly lives up to it's name, Squishable. It's so squishy and cuddly!
Luke has taken to taking it by the hand and bringing it with him around the house or using it as a pillow on the floor. Katie thinks it's the best thing ever to cuddle up to on the couch, using it as a pillow too. I myself may have been caught using it as a pillow at some stage also! I love how soft it feels and it's the perfect size for flopping down on the couch with for some time out.

There are variety of types you can choose from, I wanted the hedgehog, the OH wanted the dragon so we somehow settled for the penguin. Although I have a feeling we will be adding to our collection of Squishable's and the hedgehog is definitely next :)

Go and get your very own with 10% off from the lovely peeps over at Squishable.co.uk





Thursday, 31 July 2014

Me & Mine July

We are calling this month, Selfie month! I love our pictures this month, they were taken on a whim on a recent trip to a local beach. Luke wasn't impressed with being on the outside of the picture so he pushed his was into the middle of the pictures, it was super cute. He's got sand and ice cream all over his face in these pictures too!
July has been another busy month, unfortunately mostly because of work though. My days off have been scattered so have been having one day off at a time and having to work weekends too, my routine is all over the place. James has been working loads more as well but its given Luke a chance to spend some quality time with his Nanny and Grandad helping out in their garden. He's such an outdoor baby, he's happiest when he's running around in the fresh air or playing in his sandpit or being taken around the garden in the wheelbarrow. This month Luke had his first somewhat serious injury and split open his forehead in the garden, he's sporting a lovely plaster in the pictures. It's still healing but he's not bothered by it.
I really feel like this month has been made up of snatched family moments here and there and I hate when it feels like that but I guess it will be like this sometimes. As long as I can still some home and get to put my little boy to bed every night that'll keep me going until things slow down again and we get back to our normal routine.






This month Luke loves:

  • Talking - he is trying to communicate verbally with us so much more now
  • The garden and the sandpit and the paddling pool
  • Ice cream
This month Dad loves:
  • Going back to football training
  • Watching Sons of Anarchy
  • Working, well not really I suppose but he spent so much time there recently he kind of has to!
This month Mum loves:
  • Bringing Luke to the beach
  • Catching up with some friends
  • The sunny warm weather

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Roches Point

Today was a lovely Sunday afternoon spent with the OH and Luke. We started off by having lunch with the family in my parents, my sister made delicious panini's!
We decided to head to a beach of some kind today seeing as the weather was so warm. I had planned on going to Inch beach near Whitegate in Cork but I am ashamed to say I got lost! Having lived in that area on and off for 3 years during my time working in Trabolgan years ago you would think I'd know my way! I'll blame the baby brain (still!) for that one. It worked out quite well anyway because while we were spinning around trying to find our way Luke had a nap and woke just as we reached our destination.
We finally found our way back to Whitegate and stopped off at the shop to refuel. The playground here is actually one of the best I've been in too so we let Luke have a run around in there, he loves climbing on top of the slide and looking out at everyone and everything. Of course the ice cream van came around at the same time so the OH insisted we get some!
We went on our way to Roches Point which at the entrance to Cork harbour. It's such a lovely tiny village, I'd love to live there in one the colourful houses, I could imagine sitting by the window in the Winter and watching the waves crash.
Although Luke has been on a beach before this was his first time getting his feet wet, we found a little rock pool for him to get his feet wet in and of course he just had to sit down in it! Luckily we had a change of clothes. He had his first feel of seaweed to and had great fun throwing it around. It probably wasn't the most ideal beach to bring him too as its quite rocky but the trek to the sandy beach next to it was too much in the heat today (it involves a big hill!).
We finished off our day doing a bit of shopping and then having homemade lasagne for dinner.

This is the way all Sundays should be spent :)
Hope you all had a lovely weekend!

*Luke is sporting a rather stylish plaster due to a nasty fall in his Nanny and Grandad's garden yesterday, I'm more traumatised by it than he is I think, it's his first cut...the first of many I keep being told!!*